It is hard to believe that it was only seven years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research I quickly found out that with the relative simplicity of EnRoute, CNC routers were capable of just about anything imaginable. This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as we continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful software... -dan

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Playing with light.

Today was a day for learning. A few days ago I routed the TV surround. I've been itching to do more work on the piece but things were just too busy until today. The first puzzle was the green liquid in the tube beside the TV. I wanted it translucent so I could light it from the bottom but was stumped as to what to use. I mentioned my dilemma to my friend, Shawn Cherewick of Protowerx Design Inc ( www.protowerx.com ) who is working on the very cool lighting for the board room table (more on that soon). He mentioned that his daughter had created a candle using Jell Wax. The wax was clear and formed bubbles when you poured it.  I rushed to our local craft store and purchased the needed supplies.  It took a couple of tries to get the color right. I wanted translucent but not clear. The LED at the bottom of the tube needed to throw light but not be visible through the liquid. In the end I filled the tube, let it harden a little and then poured it out. I then filled the center of the tube with clear wax. The top portion of the tube is a little dark but the light shines the way I wanted near the bottom. I decided it would pass muster.

Then it was on to the TV frame. I hogged out enough space for the LED's in the bottom of the gages and drilled them through to the back. Then I hollowed out a raceway to thread a hidden wire to all the lights, angling them up at a 45 degree angle. I strung the wire through the frame, threading on the lights for the lighted tube and the gages. It looked pretty cool when I fired it up for the first time.

I'll let the epoxy harden overnight before the next steps. I'll design and print up the faces of the gages tomorrow and glue them in along with the acrylic lenses. Finally everything will get a coat of paint and aging patina. 

One more thing I have to learn is how to photograph the bright LED's. They look so much better in real life.